Episode 02 – “Beloved Bastard”
Getting through the batch of episode 2’s this season, and I have not been disappointed at all. Hamatora has been proving itself as a decent Durarara!! substitute and then some. I know it’s dumb to compare apples and corn, but the atmospheres are so similar and reminiscent of one another that it’s hard not to. I like how Hamatora plays out more like a traditional mystery type series because we’ve definitely been lacking these in the anime department.
Mystery is probably my favorite genre of media/entertainment, as I loved things like Ace Attorney, 999, Persona 4 (well, that was kind of a mystery). In terms of anime, there aren’t too many notable series that are strict mysteries. Pretty much every series utilizes mystery elements, but I feel only a handful like Gosick and UN-GO can be classified as true mysteries. Needless to say, I quite enjoyed both of these series.
One the greatest qualities that the mystery genre has to offer, in my opinion, is that there’s a reason for everything. Every event and every character introduced is inextricably linked to the mystery’s final outcome. Examples in this week’s episode of Hamatora include the hilarious explosion that Birthday gets sent to jail for because of poor timing on his part, the garbage chute first used by hungry high schoolers and then by Murasaki, and then the random guy who Nice runs into.
It turns out that this long-haired dude is the man behind the string of murders targeting Minimum Holders. The goal here is to produce artificial Minimum Holders by stealing the brains of real ones. This way, anyone can have cool powers without having to undergo grueling training at Facultas Academy, which even Nice seems to be resentful towards. This is an aspect that’s been catching my attention in Hamatora. Conflicting morals.
We see this with Murasaki and Nice, who always seem to have opposing interests and motives. I think this is what makes them such an ideal detective pair (I wonder if the yaoi boat has sailed yet). In addition, we have the Kitakawa-sensei who used his Minimum power to doctor photos of bullies for his own self-gratification. Sure, it helped out the victim but it caused trouble for the actual bullies and it was done out of selfishness. But wait, the bullies deserved it, right? Even though it led to the string of bombings? It’s almost a mess of ambiguity filled with cause/effect, and I really enjoy that sort of thing.
“It’s not so bad to live a lie.” ~ Murasaki